Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

A Young Women’s Lesson—A Guest Post from ks at Beginnings New

Posted by joespencer on January 23, 2011

Below is a guest post from ks:

I’m a new writer for the blog “Beginnings New.” As you may have guessed from the name, we write about all things connected with the Young Women program – lesson notes, advice for tricky situations, planning meaningful activities, and issues related to youth in general.

As Feast is currently without a writer for the Young Women lessons, I approached Robert Couch with the idea of cross-posting our lesson notes here at Feast.

Also, I would like to ask for the thoughts of the Feast community on the lesson we’re currently addressing: “Preparing to Become an Eternal Companion.”

This lesson, like several on the same topic in the Young Women manual, is often done in a way that, well, leaves much to be desired…

What suggestions do you have for teaching youth this topic? Note that the Young Women manual doesn’t give too much attention to “eternal” or “companion,” and leaves out any real discussion of a doctrinal base. What scriptures or conference talks/young women broadcasts (during the last 15 years, preferably…) would you suggest a Young Women leader go to?

And, to fuel discussion, this is essentially the lesson manual’s outline (my own opinion of the outline is sure to show through here):

-Girl goes away to college and appreciates all of mom’s homemaking skills
-Teacher asks girls a “guess what the teacher is thinking” obvious question, answer is “wife”
-Look up scriptures to just get the words out that “marriage is ordained of God” – but no discussion on scripture is encouraged
-Spencer W. Kimball quotation, with some good stuff, and I actually usually like Pres. Kimball’s messages, but in this one there are some lines that could really be misused: girls should make themselves “attractive physically in dress” and “knowledgeable on many subjects” and emotionally “genuine.” Yikes. (Young Women are either going to see that quotation read without comment, or a whole lot of comments…)
-The “get out the paper, make a list” request
-The reason to study scripture and pray is to get ready for “challenges of marriage
-Example of why to be spiritually prepared: when you fight, which you will, you can pray at the end (not of course, teaching children the gospel or working in callings…)
-People like good cooking
-Homemaking requires skill/patience
-So, prepare yourself
-And, the conclusion: “Each of the young women will marry at a different time. However, if they will prepare themselves in the areas discussed in this lesson, they will increase their chances of having successful and happy marriages.”

“Increase their chances”?? I would much prefer the youth understand the foundation of eternal marriage than simply “increasing” their chances of surviving it. The lesson manuals for Young Women all include introductions that encourage the teachers to go to the scriptures and use material from the Ensign/New Era if they want something beyond the lesson plan.

So, what scriptures and conference talks would you study as you prepared to teach a lesson like this to the youth?

11 Responses to “A Young Women’s Lesson—A Guest Post from ks at Beginnings New”

  1. Robert C. said

    ks, thanks for posting this. I hope others will chime in with suggestions and ideas. I am particularly interested as I try to understand the mysteries of the female psyche in watching my own two young girls develop.

    One idea would be to take up 3 Nephi 18:21 in depth. Why does Christ command to pray together as families? (Pres. Hinckley said some things on this passage back in 1997, just barely under your 15 year suggestion—see reference at the Marriage and Family Lesson 16 here.) What is the nature of prayer generally? How should we think about personal prayer and its relation to our family, ward family, community, etc.?

    I think prayer is an endlessly fascinating topic, a fortiori as it relates to family relations.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LDS Blogs, jeans, ks & reese . jeans, ks & reese said: ks cross-posting at Feast Upon the Word re: #mormon #YW lesson 3-4 Eternal Companion Preparation http://bit.ly/gfOF8W […]

  3. BrianJ said

    ks: I’m very happy to have you posting here!

    Scriptures: Rebekah and Isaac. I wouldn’t use these words, but the basic point is that Rebekah was driving the spiritual choices in that marriage. Isaac comes across as rather too passive.

    Tamar and Judah would also be fun—another example of a woman forcing a man to do the right thing. It’d be fun, but maybe some people would be “offended” by the subject matter.

  4. KirkCaudle said

    I got a nice laugh also out of the idea of “increasing” one’s chance of staying married.

  5. […] http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2011/01/23/a-young-womens-lesson-a-guest-post-from-ks-at-beginnings-… […]

  6. Janell said

    I think I’d spin the homemaking emphasis into more of an emphasis on how service and compassion are a good foundation to an eternal marriage. When you love someone, you serve and strengthen them. Having skills to serve with are helpful in a companionship.

    I agree with others’ comments that the lesson ought to be structured more towards one’s own growth in preparation for a future companionship rather than a “how to become good marriage material” or “how to survive how awful marriage will be.”

  7. BrianJ said

    I’d want to use caution when “spinning” the homemaking material. I’ve seen it happen too many times: someone comes across as denigrating homemaking, as though homemaking efforts aren’t that important, or valuable, or respectable. So while I think it’s important to encourage girls to look at “modern” options for helping their marriage, it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t disparage “traditional” roles.

  8. NathanG said

    Wow, I thought I had it bad with Young Men’s lessons.

    I recently saw the new Joseph Smith movie for the first time (I know, it’s been out for several years). I was impressed with the portrayal of Emma. There are a few Emma scriptures, and then her life story, with all it’s interesting twists and turns.

    I would also throw in that the standard marriage story is about Adam and Eve. Any time spent there is also some covert temple prep time.

  9. Sharla said

    I get to teach this lesson in two weeks and have really been thinking a lot about it. My first reaction to it was nausea! So, as a single mom and teaching girls who may/may not have the ideal mormon home life… what can I teach them? I have complied several talks by Pres. Uchtdorf and several others. Women are creators, your happily ever after is now! Whatever the circumstances you are living in our Heavenly father gave us the ability to create! We create homes which can be a safe haven, a fortress against satan.

  10. Karen said

    Thanks Sharla. I absolutely love that talk by Pres. Uchtdorf. I also like his image of “the golden ticket.” By the way, I also post lesson notes at Beginnings New, a blog focused entirely on the YW program. Please feel free to comment there as well! There was some discussion similar to your comment on the Lesson 5, Manual 1 post that might be helpful too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is a certainly a calling where we really need to pool our ideas and experiences so we can be very thoughtful and careful as we teach.

    Thanks for commenting, and again feel free to share your thoughts at Beginnings New as well!

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